Sam Hunt Explains the Difference Between Having a Hit Song as a Writer and as an Artist
Sam Hunt first hit the country scene as a songwriter, but now that he's pursuing a career as an artist himself, he's noticed that there are some differences between having a hit as a songwriter and having one as an artist.
Hunt's first hit was Kenny Chesney's "Come Over," off of Chesney's 2012 album, Welcome to the Fishbowl. Hunt says that getting a song on the radio was a huge deal for him, especially since it was recorded by Chesney.
"Oh, that was amazing," he tells Kix Brooks in a radio interview. "It's still probably the highlight of my music career so far, you know, just because you can never really get back that wide-eyed naivety when you haven't had anything on the radio ... and then all of a sudden, boom, you turn on the radio, and you hear somebody you grew up listening to singing a song that, just a few months before, you were sitting in a room trying to think up lyrics for.
"I was just fired up," Hunt continues. "The first song I learned on the guitar was a Kenny Chesney song called "What I Need to Do;" it was just an easy song to play ... and it was really cool to see that come full-circle a few years later and have him record a song that I was part of.
"I kept thinking I was going to wake up, and they were going to change their mind, or something was going to happen," he adds. "And, you know, it didn't go away, that intense excitement and just relief and fulfillment."
The up-and-coming singer-songwriter was able to stay pretty level-headed throughout the experience thanks to some help from a group of people who have kept his expectations in check. That collaborative atmosphere has translated into Hunt's career as a singer, but the feeling is much different now.
"I think the biggest thing is that the single now ... it represents a success for more than just me," Hunt says. "The original song, "Come Over," personally I was able to experience that emotion, and with my co-writers, they would experience that. But as I've pursued an artist career, I've sort of slowly gathered up a team of guys who have invested in me, invested their time, their energy, and everybody in our camp, we're all first-timers, so everybody has set sail on the same ship. There's not any backup plan; it's 'Let's hope this works!'
"So, we spent several months putting in the work, putting in the time, coming up with the ideas for the big picture, and the song was a part of that," Hunt explains. "To have the song do well and be able to put an album out because the song is doing well, earlier than we thought, I'm able to celebrate with a team of guys who I really, really respect, and I'm really appreciative of the hard work they've put in.
"It's just really fulfilling to celebrate with a group of folks, a team, than it is personally," he concludes. "As great as it was, this is something a little extra special."
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